10 Social Media Tips for Businesses

January 10, 2017

Social media can be a highly valuable tool for your company if used right, or a giant time-waster if not. Knowing how to use social media correctly can make all the difference! Here are a few tips to help you maximize your social media use:

Know your platform

Twitter is used for VERY short-form content, Instagram is all about visually appealing images, and YouTube is for engaging long-form content. When posting to social media platforms, make sure you’re posting content that suits the audience.

Plan first

Never jump into a campaign without a plan. Sit down and create a comprehensive social media marketing plan before the campaign begins. It can help you increase your chances for success, as well as prepare you to analyze the good/bad of your plan.

Engage

The truly effective way to reach more people is to engage with them. Always be ready to reply to comments, thank people for participating, and listen to what people have to say. The more you engage, the better!

Monitor your efforts

You’ve come up with a social media plan, but you have to be ready to adjust or flex as needed. The only way to know if it’s needed is to monitor your efforts. That means tracking/analyzing your social media progress to determine if it’s having the desired results. Change as the situation merits!

Take advantage of automation

Twitter and Facebook both have automation options, and you can find tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to help you schedule content ahead of time. Automation can help to streamline the process!
Target your audience – Know who your audience is, and make sure your posts reach them! The narrower your audience, the greater the chance that you’ll reach the right people with your content.

Maximize ROI

Don’t spend time posting across all platforms if only a few platforms yield the results you want. Make sure your efforts are concentrated on the social media channels that work best for you.

Be smart with hashtags

Used right, hashtags can be a great way to track your engagement. Used incorrectly, they can clutter up your content and annoy people.

Organize yourself

Part of the social media plan should be to draft a calendar that helps you to keep track of everything you are posting and when.

Advertise

It’s worth spending a bit of money on advertising via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media channels. The ad money will often yield a higher ROI than with Google AdWords marketing!

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  • advertise
  • audience
  • CoLab Internet Marketing
  • Connect SEO and social media
  • hashtags
  • social media
  • success
  • target marketing
  • tips
  • website design

Since 2010, the world of internet marketing has exploded. A significant number of companies and small businesses have changed their marketing approach and relied entirely upon social media for their advertising and outreach. 2017 is one of the best years for social media marketing yet, but are you using social media the right way?

In the last few years, paid advertising has been the key to expanding your reach and putting your content in front of more eyeballs. Paid advertising is still a highly effective option in 2017—you may want to invest money into highly visual Facebook ads and target customers on YouTube with smart video advertisements. However, for more effective social media marketing, you need to focus on your message.

People often overlook or skip past the “Sponsored” posts on Facebook, or click away from videos that are too ad-heavy on YouTube. The Twitter or Instagram posts with too many marketing hashtags will annoy people if there is nothing else useful included. Instead of spending your money on blasting your content over social media, focus on making that content higher quality.

Remember: social media is about ENGAGEMENT. The more people you get to join in your conversation, the more reach and influence you have. Your content should ask questions, provide answers and solutions, or present food for thought in a way that your audience will respond to. Even something as simple as a poll to get people’s opinions can be a highly effective way to get your followers to click or share your content.

The majority of your investment should go toward producing high-quality content: articles, blog posts, images, and videos people will WANT to check out. If they find it interesting, they’re much more likely to share it. That word of mouth is going to lead to a far better reach than anything you could achieve through paid advertising.

Yes, you will want to continue setting aside a portion of your advertising and marketing budget to take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube’s paid options. They are a sound investment that are very likely to return good ROI (Return on Investment). However, make sure that the content you’re promoting is of the highest quality and has a good chance of engaging those who see it. Eventually, you may find that you don’t need to spend as much money on advertising because your organic reach is sufficient to spread your message far and wide.

The day of long-winded, text-heavy articles is coming to an end; now, people want to SEE rather than read. They say that an “image is worth 1,000 words”. Thanks to Instagram, a well-crafted image can be worth a whole lot more!

Instagram is a photo-based platform that allows you to share images, GIFs, and videos, using the same hashtags that make Twitter one of the best social media platforms for visibility. It’s a platform that you should definitely be using for a number of reasons:

Interconnectivity.

Anything you post to Instagram can automatically be posted to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. It’s a simple one-click platform that will allow you to spread your images far and wide.

Younger audience.

The average user on Instagram is between the age of 18 and 45, with more than 50% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 owning an Instagram account and using the app regularly. If your product or service caters to the young, trendy, and tech-savvy, you NEED to be on Instagram to find your target audience where they’re at.

Massive user base.

Facebook and Twitter still have the largest user base, but Instagram hit 600 million accounts in late 2016. That’s an enormous number of people taking advantage of the photo-based platform to share their content! It’s also one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, with new updates and upgrades on a regular basis.

User-friendly design.

And by this, we don’t mean you, the marketer. We’re talking the users who browse Instagram to find new and interesting content. The layout of the app makes it incredibly easy for users to get access to content from all around the world, not just within their network of friends and contacts. Anyone can access any public Instagram account, giving you a much larger platform to work from.

Better engagement.

With Facebook, you have to spend money to make your posts visible. On Instagram, everything is visible to everyone. The number of user comments is also much higher on Instagram, leading to better engagement with followers and strangers. People are also more likely to follow an account that hooks them, as well as give a “Like” to great images.

Instagram has its pros and cons as far as social media marketing platforms go, but any smart marketer will take advantage of the benefits it offers. You’ll find that Instagram can provide you a much more efficient way to reach your target audience!

Creating quality content takes A LOT of hard work! Whether you hire a copywriter or do all the work yourself, it’s still an investment to create content to post to your website, blog, or social media platforms. Even harder is creating quality content that is unique, interesting, and hits the right marketing notes without being too “pushy” or “salesy”.

Here’s one tool a lot of people don’t tap into crowdsourcing. Instead of hiring out, you can use your readers to generate content to share. Instead of using your own one-way content, user-generated content encourages a two-way discussion that helps readers to feel more engaged with your brand. That engagement is what will lead to much better customer loyalty in the long run.

To encourage your users to create content:

Offer an incentive
Establish clear guidelines that are easy to follow
Be appreciative of anyone who produces content for you
Encourage regular contributions
Give your members independence
It takes time to get that user-generated content flowing in, but once you have it, you’ll find it’s highly effective for building a community.

Best of all, the user-generated content is marketing material that will appeal to other readers in a way that you never could. Think about it: why do so many companies use testimonials on their products or services? Instead of saying “Our product is this”, they use real-life people saying, “I love this product for X reasons!” Users are more likely to take the word of fellow users than that of the manufacturers trying to sell the product. (Why else do you think product reviews are prized so highly?)

The user-generated content will do the marketing for you. After all, it will show other users that you have a community that is engaged and interacting. Every piece of user-generated content—be it fan art, memes, photo collections, articles, or social media posts—showcases your product or service, but without your needing to put your spin on it. It’s a way of subtly marketing, one that doesn’t involve you.

The more you can encourage your users to generate content, the better. You should include it in your monthly marketing plans and find ways to promote the production of this content by your users. Have a “standing offer” that provides a discount or special deal every time your users produce something of value for you. Over time, you’ll find that it can be one of the best ways to generate quality content that appeals to a broader range of people—all without your needing to spend a single cent!

The addition of videos to Facebook revolutionized the way brands and companies can reach new fans and followers. Now, you can give people interesting, valuable content in the form of a short, snappy video. If a picture says 1,000 words, a video is worth a whole lot more.

Here are some tips to help you use Facebook Videos that will serve your brand:

Launch a product

If you’re doing a physical product launch, use Facebook Live to show people what’s going on during the launch. Even if they can’t be there physically, your fans will be able to enjoy the experience from the comfort of their home and still feel like they’re part of the buzzy new product.

Take them behind the scenes

People love to feel like they’re getting something special or exclusive. To make your fans feel special, take them behind the scenes of your business operations, your new product, or some special event.

Interact with customers

Facebook Live allows you to interact with customers and followers in real time, answering questions, giving information, and even sharing tutorials and how-to’s. The more you interact with people, the better!

Interview someone interesting

Give your Facebook fans the chance to hear from someone else: an expert in their field, a celebrity, or someone else who will pique their interest. Interviews can be fascinating and provide a lot of value in just a few minutes of video.

Surprise people with a sale or promotion

Videos are a great way to get people interested in sales and promotions, and you can share a lot of info in a few seconds or minutes. Plus, you’ll find people are far more likely to share the videos to others they believe will be interested in the sale or promo opportunity.

Tell a story

People connect with stories more than they do anything else! Use your Facebook platform to tell stories: of people whose lives have been improved or changed by your products, funny and interesting things that happened to your company, or the process of creating a new brand or product. Stories are always more interesting than marketing content or product feature lists.

Discuss current events

There will always be something happening in the world around you, and Facebook Videos give you a chance to discuss them at length. Trending issues change on a daily basis, so make sure to “strike while the iron is hot” and get those videos uploaded before something else becomes more relevant.

To make any advertisement or marketing campaign effective, you have to make sure to target a specific audience. A campaign that hits “everyone” will hit no one; a targeted campaign will have the greatest chance of success.

Thankfully, there are A LOT of tools that enable us to narrow our audience to as specific, targeted a demographic as possible. Every advertising platform from Facebook to Google to Amazon makes the “how” of audience targeting possible.

The real secret is in the “when”…

Remember the days when the first Hunger Games movie came out? Within a few months, dozens more young adult-aiming novels were released, many of which went on to become huge successes. People “struck while the iron was hot”, and their novels, movies, comic books, and other similar products benefited from the popularity of the Hunger Games.

Targeting your audience at the best moment is both an art and a science. It takes two things:

A lot of research.

When planning your ads or marketing campaigns, take a look at what is popular at the moment. Are there certain movies or TV shows that everyone loves? Are there hashtags, buzzwords, or controversial topics that everyone is talking about? The more you understand what is trending at the moment, the more accurately you’ll be able to create timely, fresh campaigns.

A lot of guess work.

Unless you can turn out a new ad or marketing campaign overnight, anything that is trending now will be “old news” by the time your campaign is ready. That means you need to spend time researching things that are soon to come: new movies, new albums being released, new apps or tech products, political happenings in the near future, etc. By studying past trends, you’ll have a better chance of “guessing” what will be popular soon.

It will be a bit of a gamble to create marketing campaigns based around these predictions, but if you get it right, you will be one of the only people taking advantage of the wave of popularity as it’s just beginning. Those “lucky guesses” can lead to massive growth if they work out. If not, you’ve lost a bit of time and money, but not too much more.

When thinking about new marketing and ad campaigns, try to think about the timing of what you have to offer and what you want to say. If you can pair it with something timely, trending, or fresh, you’ll find your chances of success are significantly higher!

A functional working website is a business essential nowadays. It is practically impossible for any organization or brand to survive in today’s day and age without a strong online presence. However, it is not enough to just have a website listed on the internet without focusing on the content.

A website should be functional, high-quality, and informative. It should be able to deliver what it enlists and provide the users with a luxurious experience. Therefore, it is essential to work on the website and hire someone who can look after the development.

There are five crucial elements, which can either make or break a website. These elements enable you to provide your users with fantastic user experience and an overall smooth transition.

Design of the Website

Today, the visual aspect is the key factor in a website. Your website must represent you as a brand and also resonate with your audience.

The first thing that your users notice when they open your website is the design. A good commanding design can attain a customer in less than five seconds. However, a poorly designed website with bunched up text and intermingled columns present a lousy look for users.

A good website should have a gripping yet non-compact design, one which can attract the correct user audience and keep their attention for longer.

Furthermore, a poorly designed website will create a hurdle in user-friendliness.

Compatible

People are 24 by 7 on their phones nowadays. This means that a single website can be viewed on multiple different screen dimensions throughout the day.

This is why cross-browser compatibility is one of the most vital elements of any website today. This mainly goes for websites, which are selling centric. If you want to generate leads, you must provide the utmost level of usability.

Usability

Usability is one of the most under-determined features of any website. Why is this so? This is because no one ever commends a business on good usability, but they would almost always notice bad usability. Honestly, no one can blame them either; bad usability stands out almost instantly.

The user should be able to navigate through the website without any issue and find their way around easily. That means the site needs to be intuitive, accessible, compatible, and easy to navigate.

They should also be able to access each page from the landing page so that they can get an overview of sorts from the main page. Try to look at your website from an on-lookers point of view, it will help you fulfill their needs and requirements.

Call to action

This one is the most important if you have an e-commerce website. The call to action is one of the essential things on the site. You can have an interactive website, with all the right products listed, but you cannot do anything with CTA buttons.

It would help if you made it clear to the users where everything is and how they can access everything. CTA is the way to do it. You can convert visitors into leads by telling them what to do and how to do it.

However, try to be discrete while doing it. Do it generically like asking people to sign up or get free goodies on their orders?

Content

Content is key. There is nothing significant on the internet without useful and relevant content. It plays a crucial role in SEO and also is one of the most effective ways to divert traffic to your website.

Focus on developing high quality and optimized content for your website before you go live with it.

A brand is more than just a logo or a range of products: it’s an idea that you want to sell to people. Your goal is to position yourself as the “go-to” brand for the product or service you are providing. In order to do that, you have to create a positive image for yourself.

Just like you’d “dress for success”, you need a website that is consistent with your brand. That means a logo, color scheme, and layout that communicates clearly what you are trying to say. The subtle psychology of colors, shapes, lines, and design has a lot of power, and we harness that power to position YOU as the expert you need to be.

Branding plays a vital role in the success of your company!
Our graphic design team specializes in creating visually stunning images for your website, logo, apparel, marketing material and much more. We’re experts at using images, colors, and designs to tell the story YOUR story. With our designs, your website will tell users exactly what to expect from you and your product or service.

We can create a “brand” for you from scratch, or we’ll work with your existing branding to create a
positive representation across all mediums. Heck, we’re even happy to revamp your current brand and help to evolve your image. We’re all about helping you put your best foot forward, which means creating a brand that people recognize and respect.

But we’re so much more than just a graphic design service. We have great partnerships with some of the best promotional marketing companies, so whatever you are looking for we can help you design it and get it produced.

 

Contact us to find out how we can help you with your business!

A website is not something you can build and then forget about. Like your marketing plan, your business website needs constant updating. With the new year, it’s time to think about a new website design. Here are some of the reasons why you might need a new website.

1. Your Photos Are Weak

The consumer in 2018 is looking for visual input. If your images are low resolution or are completely pulled from stock photo sites, it’s not going to impress. Make sure that the images on your website are in line with what you want your brand to promote.

2. It’s Not Mobile Friendly

Did you know that by the end of 2018, the average adult will be spending over 3 hours on mobile media? That means that a site that’s not optimized for mobile is losing a huge potential reach. Make your site mobile friendly as quickly as possible.

3. You Have No Social Links

Today’s consumer is using social media to make buying decisions. Your website should link to your social media pages to make that decision easier for your customer. If you don’t have social media, get started with it, then add the links to your website so people can find you.

4. Your Content Is Weak and Irrelevant

Content is still critical, and your content needs to properly brand your company while also working with your SEO goals. Make sure the content is up-to-date, relevant, and engaging.

5. Your Website is Not Visually Appealing

According to a Harvard study in 2013, websites that are perceived as great looking are also perceived as trustworthy and usable. Today’s consumer will click away from your site in a heartbeat if they don’t like what they see. In most cases, your website is your customer’s first impression of your company and your products and services. As a matter of fact, website design is one of the decisive factors that drive user engagement.

6. Your Website is Not Generating Leads

Websites are meant to get your business new prospects, not just sit there and look pretty. Your website should be generating leads for you. If it’s not, then it’s time to get a new website.

Do you have any of these problems on your site? If you do, then 2018 is the year you need a new one. Take the time to update your site, or rebuild it form the ground up, and make your digital presence strong and effective.

Tags:

  • mobile friendly
  • SEO goals
  • social links
  • website design